Rolling Robots Develops VEX Robotics Champions

By Carolyn Richardson

Three teams of kids from the tech workshop Rolling Robots won awards at the 2016 VEX Robotics State Championship, which took place March 12 in Pasadena. Team 7700R won the Tournament Champion and Innovate Award in the high school division, while Team 7700B won the Design Award and were finalists in the middle school division. 7700W, the all-girls team in the elementary school division won the Judges Award. All three teams will advance to the VEX Robotics Worlds, which takes place April 20-23 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Rolling Robots has been developing VEX Robotics Teams for the past three years. The competition, presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, is the largest and fastest growing robotics program globally, with more than 12,000 teams from 33 countries. The theme for this year’s VEX Robotics Competition was Nothing But Net, an engineering and robot challenge to create a robot that plays a game on a 12-foot-by-12-foot field. Teams competed in matches where the object of the game was to score balls and bonus balls in low and high goals, by elevating robots in a climbing zone.

Creating Champions One Team at a Time

In addition to the three teams advancing to VEX Worlds, all eight Rolling Robots teams made it to the state championship.  “As the co-founder of Rolling Robots, I am very proud of our members’ accomplishments. Beside learning all of the practical STEM knowledge and skills, they also learned first-hand how to work hard to achieve their goals,” says Bing Jiang. The elementary team consisted of girls ages 8-10. “I really enjoy going to the competition,” says team member Julia Tong. Sisters Ariana and Zoya Kassam were apprehensive, but after a small push from their mom, have come to love the program.

Setting and Surpassing Goals

“It feels good to win the Design Award at State. We worked hard for it and achieved our goal,” says student Anderson Sutandinata of Team 7700B.  Similarly, Hannah Bauer says, “I was happy because we did not just make it to the Worlds by winning the Excellence Award, but we actually made it to the VEX Worlds by ourselves.” With only a few weeks left until the VEX Worlds Championships the teams are making improvements to their robots and are looking forward to design reviews to give them a leg up on the competition.

Rolling Robots was founded by Dr. George Kirkman and Bing Jiang, two retired aerospace engineers. Equipped with the tech tools such as multi-servo humanoids to 3D printers students from age 4 to 14 are exposed to STEM-based engineering, programming and robot building birthday parties, after-school workshops and summer (and winter) camps. They have three locations in the L.A. area in West L.A., Glendale and Palos Verdes. For more information about Rolling Robots visit their website or call 1-(888)-762-6808.

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